After leading the Colorado Rapids in scoring in his first two MLS seasons, Jamaican striker Deshorn Brown will transfer to Valerenga IF in Norway's Tippeligaen, according to multiple sources.
'I thought this would be a breakout year for him in MLS," said Damani Ralph, Brown's agent. "But this is something he always wanted and his style of play will fit in well in Norway.
"You've seen his development and, after playing two years in MLS, he understands what it means to be a professional. As a striker, he's learned how to make smart runs that are effective, when to shoot and when to stand on the ball. You look at his game, he's an improved player."
Brown, 24, scored 10 goals and finished second to teammate Dillon Powers in Rookie of the Year voting in 2013. Brown totaled 10 goals last season.
"Growing up, it was my aim to explore, get to different countries, different environments, have experiences and just travel all over the world," Brown said. "Other players have gone before me and watching them over the years was a big motivation for me. Now, I'm following in their footsteps and trying to reach higher."
Brown scored 66 goals in 59 games in three collegiate seasons at the University of Mobile and University of Central Florida.
"The biggest thing I want to improve on is my scoring ratio," Brown said. "Some games I'm getting four or five chances and only putting away one. The main thing is, if I get five chances I should get two or three goals. Once I get that I'll be on the right track."
Both Ralph and Brown competed for Harbour View FC in Jamaica as youngsters, then moved to U.S. colleges. After two MLS seasons, Ralph (2003 MLS rookie of the year with the Chicago Fire) transferred to Rubin Kazan in Russia.
"I went to Russia but, now, Norway is a better market," Ralph said. "If you do well there, maybe there is a better market for you. Germany, Spain -- he has the opportunity to go there. With his style of play, and how they play, he could score 15 goals, or so. He is similar to Luton Shelton, who went [to Valerenga] and did well -- he's very pacey and can get behind defenses.
"The game is more technical there, so it's not so much how athletic you are. But with a good supporting cast, Deshorn should do well."
Shelton also started his career at Harbour View and is now with Volga Nizhny Novgorod in Russia.
Said Brown: "I've been in the league two years and I've seen and experienced a lot. My biggest improvement has been confidence. Coming out of college I didn't know what to expect. As a rookie you have to earn respect and I had coaches, Oscar [Pareja] and Pablo [Mastroeni], who gave me a chance.
"I started to be more confident in myself and I thought if I stayed in good shape and remained healthy, another opportunity could come my way. This is a new start for me in a different country and I'm excited to explore it."